Signet Library Edinburgh N/A
The Writers to the Signet in Scotland are the most ancient of the Scottish societies of solicitors. Their library was almost entirely legal until about 1780, when they received a gift of books from Archibald Campbell of Succoth (d. 1790). The Sederunt book of the Society 29 June 1789 authorized the Keeper of the library “to cause a proper seal of the society to be engraved, with their device”. Stamp 1 was used on Campbell's books together with the statement “Gifted / by Archibald Campbell Esqr of Succoth”. Stamp 2 was cut when the Royal Arms were changed to eliminate the quartering for France in 1800. Stamp 3 followed about 1815, similar to stamp 2 but with more elongated lions in the English quarter. This stamp was used until about 1869, except for a short period about 1831 1836 when stamp 4 was used. Around 1869 it must have been realized that the arms being used were incorrect, and stamp 3 was replaced by stamp 6, and stamp 5 was cut for larger books. In 1789 the Society had obtained a grant of arms from Lord Lyon, and on April 12 1869 the treasurer's accounts record a payment to Lord Lyon for a sketch of the arms of the Society for the Signet Library which marks the introduction of Stamp 7. On 18 October 1959, Sotheby's of London conducted the first of a series of auctions which have dispersed all the contents of the Signet Library except for the law books and the Scottish books. This was followed by sales 2 3 November 1959, 14 15 March, 11 12 April, 27 28 June and 31 October to 1 November 1960, all at Sotheby's in London; 2 October 1964 at Dowell's of Edinburgh; and 12 14 April 1978 and 8 9 March 1979 conducted in Edinburgh by Sotheby's.